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Full-Text Articles in Law

The Failure Of Private Ordering And The Financial Crisis Of 2008, Brian J.M. Quinn Apr 2009

The Failure Of Private Ordering And The Financial Crisis Of 2008, Brian J.M. Quinn

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

This Article analyzes the Financial Crisis of 2008 in the context of failures by market participants to engage in private ordering thus leading to opportunistic behavior at the expense of market stability. The Financial Crisis of 2008 offers a decidedly negative verdict on a decades-long project to deregulate financial markets and rely on private ordering mechanisms, including securitization and default swaps, to mitigate opportunistic behavior and improve market efficiency. Although the regulatory approach of the past two decades, which relied in great measure on private parties fending for themselves, helped to generate a number of innovations and positive developments in ...


Changing The Paradigm Of Stock Ownership From Concentrated Towards Dispersed Ownership? Evidence From Brazil And Consequences For Emerging Countries, Erica Gorga Sep 2008

Changing The Paradigm Of Stock Ownership From Concentrated Towards Dispersed Ownership? Evidence From Brazil And Consequences For Emerging Countries, Erica Gorga

Cornell Law Faculty Working Papers

This paper analyzes micro-level dynamics of changes in ownership structures. It investigates a unique event: changes in ownership patterns currently taking place in Brazil. It builds upon empirical evidence to advance theoretical understanding of how and why concentrated ownership structures can change towards dispersed ownership.

Commentators argue that the Brazilian capital markets are finally taking off. The number of listed companies and IPOs in the Sao Paulo Stock Exchange (Bovespa) has greatly increased. Firms are migrating to Bovespa’s special listing segments, which require higher standards of corporate governance. Companies have sold control in the market, and the stock market ...


Contracting For Financial Privacy: The Rights Of Banks And Customers Under The Reauthorized Patriot Act, Aditi A. Prabhu Apr 2007

Contracting For Financial Privacy: The Rights Of Banks And Customers Under The Reauthorized Patriot Act, Aditi A. Prabhu

Student Scholarship Papers

The 2001 Patriot Act chipped away financial privacy protections by allowing law enforcement authorities easier access to bank customer records. Under the Patriot Act, federal authorities may access customer records by issuing formal subpoena-like requests under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) or informal national security letters (NSLs) to banks while prohibiting notice to any affected customers. However, the 2006 revisions to the Patriot Act permit banks to challenge FISA requests and NSLs in federal court before releasing customer records. While the Act does not require banks to make these challenges on behalf of their customers, this Paper will argue ...


The Duty To Creditors Reconsidered - Filling A Much Needed Gap In Corporation Law, Richard A. Booth Dec 2006

The Duty To Creditors Reconsidered - Filling A Much Needed Gap In Corporation Law, Richard A. Booth

Working Paper Series

The most fundamental question of corporation law is to whom does the board of directors of a corporation owe its fiduciary duty. Recently, the question has tended to be whether and under what circumstances the board of directors has the duty to maximize stockholder wealth. But if a corporation is insolvent (or close to it), business decisions designed to maximize stockholder wealth may result in a reduction of creditor wealth. Although the conventional wisdom is that creditors must protect themselves by contractual means, there is a substantial body of case law that says that creditors can assert claims sounding in ...


Give Me Equity Or Give Me Death - The Role Of Competition And Compensation In Building Silicon Valley, Richard A. Booth Dec 2006

Give Me Equity Or Give Me Death - The Role Of Competition And Compensation In Building Silicon Valley, Richard A. Booth

Working Paper Series

In this essay, I argue that the preeminence of Silicon Valley as an incubator of technology companies is attributable to equity compensation. Ronald Gilson, relying on the work of AnnaLee Saxenian and others who have noted the tendency of Silicon Valley employees to job hop, has suggested that California law prohibiting the enforcement of non-compete agreements was a major factor in the rise of Silicon Valley (and the demise of Route 128). I extend this line of thought by suggesting that California employers may have relied on equity compensation as a substitute way to bind employees. I argue further that ...


Holding Charities Accountable: Some Thoughts From An Ex-Regulator, Catharine P. Wells Dec 2006

Holding Charities Accountable: Some Thoughts From An Ex-Regulator, Catharine P. Wells

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

This paper recounts a number of lessons learned in the course of serving as the Director of Public Charities for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. It incorporates these lessons into a discussion of the proper analysis of charitable organizations. Should charities be analogized to for-profit firms or are they something that is essentially different? The paper argues that they lack many of the attributes of Coasian firms and that they should be considered as “consumption groups” that have different methods of accountability.


Too Big To Fail: Moral Hazard In Auditing And The Need To Restructure The Industry Before It Unravels, Lawrence A. Cunningham Sep 2006

Too Big To Fail: Moral Hazard In Auditing And The Need To Restructure The Industry Before It Unravels, Lawrence A. Cunningham

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

Large audit firms may believe that they are too big to fail. Arthur Andersen’s 2002 criminal indictment reduced their number from five to four, and the government decided in 2005 to avoid indicting KPMG for crimes it admitted committing. If audit firms interpret the government’s reluctance to indict as signaling aversion to tough action against them, moral hazard arises. This offsets auditing improvements mandated by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 that are designed to strengthen auditors’ reputations with managers for thoroughness and improve financial statement reliability. Neutralizing this moral hazard requires a credible alternative industry structure so that ...


The Gratuities Debate And Campaign Reform – How Strong Is The Link?, George D. Brown May 2006

The Gratuities Debate And Campaign Reform – How Strong Is The Link?, George D. Brown

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

The federal gratuities statute, 18 USC § 201(c), continues to be a source of confusion and contention. The confusion stems largely from problems of draftsmanship within the statute, as well as uncertainty concerning the relationship of the gratuities offense to bribery. Both offenses are contained in the same statute; the former is often seen as a lesser-included offense variety of the latter. The controversy stems from broader concerns about whether the receipt of gratuities by public officials, even from those they regulate, should be a crime. The argument that such conduct should not be criminalized can be traced to, and ...


Language, Deals And Standards: The Future Of Xml Contracts, Lawrence A. Cunningham May 2006

Language, Deals And Standards: The Future Of Xml Contracts, Lawrence A. Cunningham

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

eXtensible Markup Language (XML) structures information in documentary systems ranging from financial reports to medical records and business contracts. XML standards for specific applications are developed spontaneously by self-appointed technologists or entrepreneurs. XML’s social and economic stakes are considerable, especially when developed for the private law of contracts. XML can reduce transaction costs but also limit the range of contractual expression and redefine the nature of law practice. So reliance on spontaneous development may be sub-optimal and identification of a more formal public standard setting model necessary. To exploit XML’s advantages while minimizing risks, this Article envisions creating ...


A Bridle, A Prod And A Big Stick: An Evaluation Of Class Actions, Shareholder Proposals And The Ultra Vires Doctrine As Methods For Controlling Corporate Behavior, Adam Sulkowski, Kent Greenfield Jun 2005

A Bridle, A Prod And A Big Stick: An Evaluation Of Class Actions, Shareholder Proposals And The Ultra Vires Doctrine As Methods For Controlling Corporate Behavior, Adam Sulkowski, Kent Greenfield

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

Written for the recent conference at St. John’s University Law School on “People of Color, Women, and the Public Corporation,” this paper evaluates recently applied methods of influencing corporate behavior on employment practices and recommends that a dormant legal doctrine be revitalized and added to the “tool box” of activists and concerned shareholders. The methods of influencing corporate behavior that are evaluated include class action lawsuits and shareholder proposals to amend corporate policy. In both contexts, there are procedural hurdles to achieving success. Even when success is achieved, there are limits to the actual changes in organizational behavior that ...


European Law On Capital Markets – Quo Vadis?, Daniela Huemer Apr 2005

European Law On Capital Markets – Quo Vadis?, Daniela Huemer

Cornell Law School Inter-University Graduate Student Conference Papers

The occurrence of more than a dozen accounting scandals in the United States over the past few years have deeply shaken the capital market and have led some to believe that “corporate and legal culture has lost all sense of right and wrong.” Scandals at companies such as Enron and Worldcom have cost thousands of employees their jobs and caused thousands of investors to lose their investments completely. Similar scandals have happened in Europe as well, such as at Parmalat and Lernout & Hauspie, which has caused an increasing reluctance among investors to trust companies with their dollars.

These circumstances have sparked a major debate over corporate governance. Investors, having lost hundreds of billions of dollars pleaded for more protection to ensure that such frauds would not happen again. The US Congress had only a short time period in which to respond to these events and try to prevent the situation from deteriorating further. Congress’s work resulted in the implementation of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which was “the most sweeping and important US federal securities legislation affecting public companies and other market participants since the SEC was created in 1934”. The European response to the Sarbanes-Oxley Act is manifested in several directives in the field of the law on capital markets. Both the United States and the European Union have had to deal with the issue of restoring investors’ lost confidence, and both have tried to solve the problem by enacting more detailed provisions. This paper examines the present trend in the field of law on capital markets more closely with a particular focus on the European Union. So far, scholars have concentrated only – if at all – on summarizing the content of the several Directives, while leaving aside the question whether the legislative activity of the European Union is a good or bad policy.

I first conduct a closer examination of European capital markets law. In particular my focus is on the most recent and important issues the Member States had, and partly still have to deal with: the Directive on Market Abuse 2003/6/EC, the Prospectus Directive 2003/71/EC and the Transparency Directive 2004/109/EC. I then argue that: (i.) The available data indicates that law on capital markets is moving toward greater regulation on a European level as well as toward a uniformity; and (ii.) although attempting to achieve harmonization on an EU-wide basis is preferable to a “state by state ...


Private Standards In Public Law: Copyright, Lawmaking And The Case Of Accounting, Lawrence A. Cunningham Mar 2005

Private Standards In Public Law: Copyright, Lawmaking And The Case Of Accounting, Lawrence A. Cunningham

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

Government increasingly leverages its regulatory function by embodying in law standards that are promulgated and copyrighted by non-governmental organizations. Departures from such standards expose citizens to criminal, civil and administrative sanctions, yet private actors generate, control and limit access to them. Despite governmental ambitions, no one is responsible for evaluating the legitimacy of this approach and no framework exists to facilitate analysis. This Article contributes an analytical framework and, for the federal government, nominates the Director of the Federal Register to implement it. Analysis is animated using among the oldest and broadest examples of this pervasive but stealthy phenomenon: embodiment ...


The Financial Statement Insurance Alternative To Auditor Liability, Lawrence A. Cunningham Jan 2005

The Financial Statement Insurance Alternative To Auditor Liability, Lawrence A. Cunningham

Boston College Law School Lectures and Presentations

These articles evaluate using financial statement insurance (FSI) to reduce the frequency and magnitude of audit failure. The FSI concept was pioneered by Josh Ronen, NYU Accounting Professor, who has modeled its economic aspects. My paper examines FSI’s efficacy from policy and legal perspectives. I conclude that while the model is not perfect, it promises considerable advantages over the current model. While some of the existing system’s imperfections are sustained or reappear in different guises, none of the existing imperfections appears to be aggravated and the rest likely are mitigated significantly. So I prescribe a framework to permit ...


Finance Theory And Accounting Fraud: Fantastic Futures Versus Conservative Histories, Lawrence A. Cunningham Jan 2005

Finance Theory And Accounting Fraud: Fantastic Futures Versus Conservative Histories, Lawrence A. Cunningham

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

Intellectual tension between the fields of finance and accounting may help to explain explosion of public company frauds. Finance theory diminishes the relevance of accounting information. Enron exploited this consequence while the SEC bought into it. After widespread frauds were exposed, Congress passed laws that address symptoms of finance's futurism, not disease. Laws essentially prohibit pro forma financial reporting and regulate the selective flow of futuristic information to financial analysts. Untouched is the underlying disease of regulatory mandates requiring extensive disclosure of forward-looking information. Until the 1970s, the SEC prudently prohibited such futuristic disclosure as inherently unreliable; assisted by ...


Encumbered Shares, Shaun Martin, Frank Partnoy Oct 2004

Encumbered Shares, Shaun Martin, Frank Partnoy

University of San Diego Law and Economics Research Paper Series

The fundamental assumptions in the law and economics literature about shareholder voting and the one-share/one-vote rule are flawed. The classic view is that share ownership is necessary and sufficient to create voting rights and that such rights should be directly proportional to share ownership. We demonstrate that this assumption is unfounded, both for shares that are “economically encumbered” (held by shareholders who are not pure residual claimants; e.g., a shareholder who owns one share and is also short one or more shares) as well as shares that are “legally encumbered” (held or associated with more than one shareholder ...


Strict Liability For Gatekeepers: A Reply To Professor Coffee, Frank Partnoy Oct 2004

Strict Liability For Gatekeepers: A Reply To Professor Coffee, Frank Partnoy

University of San Diego Law and Economics Research Paper Series

This article responds to a proposal by Professor John C. Coffee, Jr. for a modified form of strict liability for gatekeepers. Professor Coffee’s proposal would convert gatekeepers into insurers, but cap their insurance obligations based on a multiple of the highest annual revenues the gatekeepers recently had received from their wrongdoing clients. My proposal, advanced in 2001, would allow gatekeepers to contract for a percentage of issuer damages, after settlement or judgment, subject to a legislatively-imposed floor. This article compares the proposals and concludes that a contractual system based on a percentage of the issuer’s liability would be ...


Does The Tax Law Discriminate Against The Majority Of American Children: The Downside Of Our Progressive Rate Structure And Unbalanced Incentives For Higher Education?, Lester B. Snyder Oct 2004

Does The Tax Law Discriminate Against The Majority Of American Children: The Downside Of Our Progressive Rate Structure And Unbalanced Incentives For Higher Education?, Lester B. Snyder

University of San Diego Law and Economics Research Paper Series

Our graduate income tax structure provides an incentive to shift income to lower-bracket family members. However, some parents have much more latitude to shift income to their children than do others. Income derived from services and private business-by far the majority of American income-is less favored than income derived from publicly traded securities. The rationale given for this discrimination is that parents in services or private business, as opposed to those in securities, do not actually part with control of their property. This article explores these tax broader (yet subtle) tax benefits and their impact on the majority of children ...


A Model Financial Statement Insurance Act, Lawrence A. Cunningham Sep 2004

A Model Financial Statement Insurance Act, Lawrence A. Cunningham

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

Building on companion work investigating the efficacy of financial statement insurance (FSI) as an alternative to traditional auditor liability, this Article presents the terms of a national enabling statute to implement this concept. The Model Financial Statement Insurance Act uses the architecture of the U.S. Trust Indenture Act of 1939. It authorizes issuer application for qualification, in connection with annual proxy statement filings, of policies of financial statement insurance. The Model FSI Act deems a series of provisions necessary to achieve securities law objectives to be part of all financial statement insurance policies so proposed, and requires insurers to ...


Choosing Gatekeepers: The Financial Statement Insurance Alternative To Auditor Liability, Lawrence A. Cunningham Jun 2004

Choosing Gatekeepers: The Financial Statement Insurance Alternative To Auditor Liability, Lawrence A. Cunningham

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

Positioned in a lively current debate concerning how to design auditor incentives to optimize financial statement auditing, this Article presents the more ambitious financial statement insurance alternative. This breaks from the existing securities regulation framework to draw directly on insurance markets and law. Based on upon an evaluation of major structural and policy-related features of the concept, the assessment prescribes a framework to permit companies, on an experimental-basis and with investor approval, to use financial statement insurance as an optional alternative to the existing model of financial statement auditing backed by auditor liability. The financial statement insurance concept, pioneered by ...


Rules, Principles, And The Accounting Crisis In The United States, William W. Bratton Jan 2004

Rules, Principles, And The Accounting Crisis In The United States, William W. Bratton

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The Sarbanes-Oxley Act and the Securities Exchange Commission move too quickly ·when they prod the Financial Accounting Standards Board, the standard setter for US GAAP, to move immediately to a principles-based system. Priorities respecting reform of corporate reporting in the US need to be ordered more carefully. Incentive problems impairing audit performance should be solved first through institutional reform insulating the audit from the negative impact of rent-seeking and solving adverse selection problems otherwise affecting audit practice. So long as auditor independence and management incentives respecting accounting treatments remain suspect. the US reporting system holds out no actor plausibly positioned ...


Gaming Delaware, William W. Bratton Jan 2004

Gaming Delaware, William W. Bratton

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

No abstract provided.


Vultures Or Vanguards?: The Role Of Litigation In Sovereign Debt Restructuring, Jill E. Fisch, Caroline M. Gentile Jan 2004

Vultures Or Vanguards?: The Role Of Litigation In Sovereign Debt Restructuring, Jill E. Fisch, Caroline M. Gentile

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

No abstract provided.


Valuation Averaging: A New Procedure For Resolving Valuation Disputes, Keith Sharfman Dec 2003

Valuation Averaging: A New Procedure For Resolving Valuation Disputes, Keith Sharfman

Rutgers Law School (Newark) Faculty Papers

In this Article, Professor Sharfman addresses the problem of "discretionary valuation": that courts resolve valuation disputes arbitrarily and unpredictably, thus harming litigants and society. As a solution, he proposes the enactment of "valuation averaging," a new procedure for resolving valuation disputes modeled on the algorithmic valuation processes often agreed to by sophisticated private firms in advance of any dispute. He argues that by replacing the discretion of judges and juries with a mechanical valuation process, valuation averaging would cause litigants to introduce more plausible and conciliatory valuations into evidence and thereby reduce the cost of valuation litigation and increase the ...


Sarbanes-Oxley And The Role Of Lawyers In Public Companies, Lawrence A. Cunningham Apr 2003

Sarbanes-Oxley And The Role Of Lawyers In Public Companies, Lawrence A. Cunningham

Boston College Law School Lectures and Presentations

No abstract provided.


One Nation Among Many: Policy Implications Of Cross-Border Tax Arbitrage, Diane M. Ring Dec 2002

One Nation Among Many: Policy Implications Of Cross-Border Tax Arbitrage, Diane M. Ring

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

Cross-border tax arbitrage arises where a transaction is subject to two or more countries’ differing tax regimes. Conflicts between the tax rules create unique opportunities for the parties to engage in profitable tax planning – opportunities that would not be available if the transaction occurred entirely domestically in one of the countries. These opportunities have been a growing feature of the multi-jurisdictional business world and have raised issues concerning whether and how countries, such as the United States, should respond. This Article examines cross-border tax arbitrage in the context of both domestic tax policy and of other international tax issues, and ...


Delaware Law As Applied Public Choice Theory: Bill Cary And The Basic Course After Twenty-Five Years, William W. Bratton Jan 2000

Delaware Law As Applied Public Choice Theory: Bill Cary And The Basic Course After Twenty-Five Years, William W. Bratton

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

No abstract provided.


The Scope Of Private Securities Litigation: In Search Of Liability Standards For Secondary Defendants, Jill E. Fisch Jan 1999

The Scope Of Private Securities Litigation: In Search Of Liability Standards For Secondary Defendants, Jill E. Fisch

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Recent federal court decisions have struggled to apply the Supreme Court's decision in Central Bank v. First Interstate to determine when outside professionals should be held liable as primary violators under section IO(b) of the Securities Exchange Act. In keeping with the Court's current interpretive methodology, Central Bank and its progeny employ a textualist approach. In this Article, Professor Fisch argues that literal textualism is an inappropriate approach for interpreting the federal securities laws generally and misguided in light of legislative developments post-dating the Central Bank decision. Instead, Professor Fisch advocates an approach that weighs Congress 's ...


A Political Economy Of The Business Judgment Rule In Banking: Implications For Corporate Law, Patricia A. Mccoy Oct 1996

A Political Economy Of The Business Judgment Rule In Banking: Implications For Corporate Law, Patricia A. Mccoy

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

No abstract provided.